A hospital in Indiana has fired eight employees because they refused flu shots (via). Good. It’s about time someone grew a spine and stood up to religious extremists who put the health and lives of the public at risk. And can we start doing this in BC, now? Update: My apologies, I didn’t read the date carefully enough. This is from a year ago. But still, the principle behind it still holds.
And to those who want religious exemptions from doing the job the voluntarily signed up for, be careful what you wish for. (Indeed, I think that it is pretty likely that the same people who support the people in Indiana would object to this second group, even though both are using the same justifications for not doing what is necessary for their job).
John Cole has written a brilliant post about the negative influence of fundamentalism and conservative Christianity on US society (via). An excerpt (links removed):
But from where I stand these days, the only thing I see religion doing in the public sector is gay bashing and telling women, mostly poor and desperate and in deplorable financial and personal situations, what to do with their bodies. I see busybodies deciding what drugs they can dispense to which customers, or deciding that they don’t have to issue a marriage license because of some petty deity that I don’t believe in told them to hate their fellow citizens and ignore the law. In a country in dire financial straits but still spending billions and billions of dollars on education, I see religious folks actively and openly working to make our schoolkids dumber. I see them shooting people who provided a medical procedure, and I see others rummaging through people’s personal lives to find out who hasn’t lived up the word of God. I see glassy-eyed fools running for President claiming that vaccines that save lives actually cause cancer, or that if you get raped and are pregnant, you should just lie back and think of Jeebus and make the best of a bad situation. In fact, everywhere you look these days, if Christianity or religion is getting a mention, it means something ugly is happening and someone somewhere is being victimized, marginalized, or otherwise abused. Go read some of the arguments against integration and you’ll see the same bible verses used today against homosexuals. Fifty years from now, they’ll be recycling them again to trash someone else they don’t like or who isn’t good enough for them.
Read the rest of it.
Yesterday, the United States House of Representatives voted 240–185 to end all funding for Planned Parenthood and eliminate Title X. The supposed rationale, that Planned Parenthood supports child sex trafficking, is utter bullshit. Lie–la Hosebag, one associated with the James O’Keefe circle, released videos in an attempt to discredit Planned Parenthood. Since Hosebag’s videos were edited, as were O’Keefe’s against ACORN, to rational people their credibility is shot. Furthermore, Planned Parenthood performed the proper action by informing the appropriate authorities.
Nor can the House be doing this because of opposition to abortion. Only a tiny fraction of Planned Parenthood’s funds go towards abortions, and furthermore the Hyde Amendment prohibits the US government from funding abortions (in most circumstances). In other words, none of Your Money™ goes towards abortion.
Indeed, most of Planned Parenthood’s funds go towards screening for STDs and cancer, or towards contraception for poor women. The first improves healthcare, and the second increases access to contraception, which is the number one way of reducing unintended pregnancies and therefore the abortion rate (cite, cite, cite). This continues the socon pattern of always taking the opposite position of what one would rationally take if they were truly against abortion. That’s because they are really motivated by a sick obsessive desire to control female sexuality, and not by any belief in the “sanctity of life”.
Personally, I doubt that this law has a realistic chance of passing. It has to get through the Senate and then past Obama’s veto pen. Furthermore, this is likely an unconstitutional bill of attainder. Still, Democrats have shown a disturbing tendency to compromise….
If there’s any good news, an atrocious refusal clause regulation has been rescinded (h/t: Echidne).
Recently, a court in Saskatchewan ruled that marriage commissioners there are not allowed to refuse to marry same–sex couples due to religious objections.
This is the correct decision. No one forced you to become a marriage commissioner. You knew going into it that you might have to marry same–sex couples. Since you chose to enter it you should face the consequences of your actions. To do otherwise is disrespectful as it tell you that you are not a rational person who is responsible for their actions. To insist that you should not be forced to do your job goes against the principle of personal responsibility. Why do conservatives hate personal responsibility?
Religion is a choice. Absolutely no one is forcing you to follow a religion that requires bigotry against gays and lesbians. And if you truly believed that marrying a same–sex couple would send you to hell, well guess what. There is no way that losing your job could possibly be worse than that. To act otherwise is to betray a serious lack of conviction. Why do conservatives have such weak convictions?
There is no way that grandfathering in bigots who were marriage commissioners before same–sex marriage was approved is a good move. Suppose that at one time, the age of consent was fourteen. Suppose further that it is raised to sixteen. The idea that we should allow those who previously had sex with fifteen–year–olds continue having sex with fifteen–year–olds is an idea that ain’t gonna fly.
If you can’t be forced to do your job, other people should not be forced to employ you. To insist otherwise, you are forcing the government to hire extra marriage commissioners, thereby wasting taxpayers’ money. Why are conservatives in favour of big government?
If you think that you shouldn’t be forced to do the job you signed up for if you are a marriage commissioner, you undoubtedly take the same view of a Friend or Jain (these are Pacifist faiths) joining the military but refusing to fight, claiming freedom of religion. Any argument that would apply to marriage commissioners would also apply to military deserters. Why do conservatives hate the troops so much?
This is good news. On the 8th, the 9th District Court of Appeals ruled that pharmacies are not allowed to refuse to sell emergency contraception. According to the unanimous ruling, a patient’s right to timely medication (important with EC) takes precedence over a pharmacist’s personal views:
Any refusal to dispense — regardless of whether it is motivated by religion, morals, conscience, ethics, discriminatory prejudices, or personal distaste for a patient — violates the rules.
Edit: Publishing date changed to July 17 so discussion can continue.
Via The Well-Timed Period comes news that the Missouri House of Representatives has passed a law allowing pharmacists and pharmacies to not follow minimum standards of care. In other words, they have just allowed people, who voluntarily entered into a line of work, knowing full well what they were getting into, to avoid taking personal responsibility for their actions and not do their jobs.
Somehow, I don’t expect a mad rush of legislators to pass a bill allowing pacifists who enlist in the military and who refuse to fight to avoid desertion charges.